We are doing a course on Interactivity and Narrativity this term, which has brought us face to face with a book of the title Orality and Literacy, by Walter J Ong. Its full of interesting concepts, but very boring at times, since it is laden with names and references and dates. And of course a lot of Homer and his Iliad and Odyseey. The greek influence on art and literature is so immense it is fascinating, but its not for people with failing memory cells.

The book of course starts with the invention on languages, and how oral traditions were established first, since writing basically took a long time to develop. Thus memory also played a major part in the cultures and societies of the early ages. And to have important instances and stories be easily stored as memory, it had to be made in patterns and a lot of cliches or repititions. It also mentioned computer languages in the book, citing the difference between that and human languages. The computer languages have rules that are made first and then it can be processed or usable, and in human languages, the usage came first and the rules (grammar) were then abstracted from it. Our language is very interesting i think. Especially with its abundance of different versions of one sound, like the Dirgho-E (lengthy E) and the Roshyo-E (the shorter E). I once had the opinion that these versions should go and that they are redundant. I have now changed that opinion. This is since i have started learning Swedish a few weeks ago. Swedish has a lot of extra alphabets and different pronunciations, and our alphabets are now helping a lot to explain to myself the twists and turns of the swedish speech! It is quite fascinating, the dirgho-E, the Doy-shunno-R... they are all useful again. But i wonder if that is the only use for them, since the distinctive sounds are almost non-existent in our speech today!

As far as cliches go, they are really useful for remembering things. It commits to memory easily. Like 'seeing is believing', maybe i cannot remember who first said it to me or where i first read it, but i remember the saying. Related to vision, there is also the saying "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king". Now songs and poetry recitals are probably the more prominent of oral traditions today. Story telling probably still exist in some societies or clubs and some radio stations. Anyway, I will end with my extracted saying: "in the land of the sleeping, the blind can be king", to reflect the condition of democracy in third world countries riddled with illiteracy, lack of education (or proper education), and corruption.

Keep talking, and keep blogging.